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NY Mets: Top 12 free agents the team should look to sign this winter

Sep 29, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) and starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) walk to the dugout before a game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 29, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets right fielder Michael Conforto (30) and starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) walk to the dugout before a game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Which free agents should the New York Mets look to sign this winter? Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

This is going to be a fun winter of free agency. The New York Mets, with Steve Cohen fuming over watching his team finish below .500 (or so I imagine), won’t let this happen again.

The Mets remain one of baseball’s most dangerous teams because of the market they play in, the owner they have, and the angst of the fans demanding something better. Free agency is going to be where the Mets get better.

Although this winter’s class of free agents is shortstop-heavy and the Mets shouldn’t be shopping there, there are plenty of other intriguing options. I’ve included those who played for the 2021 team on this list of the top ten free agents to sign and many more who will be brand new to the organization. While I don’t personally feel they should throw away the 14th overall pick by taking anyone who received a qualifying offer, I’d be willing to accept this if the team goes nuts and pulls in everyone they possibly can.

With all due respect to the free agent relievers out there, I’ve left you off this list. Signing a starting pitcher or offensive player is a bigger priority. Please, don’t hate me, Aaron Loup. Come back!

12) NY Mets free agent target Kevin Gausman

Until this year, I would have thought making Kevin Gausman a top ten free agent to sign would be very “Wilponian.” He has been rather average in his MLB career. This seemed to change since joining the San Francisco Giants.

Last year was okay for Gausman in San Francisco. This most recent season put him in the Cy Young conversation.

Gausman finished the 2021 campaign tied for a league-leading 33 starts. In those 192 innings, he went 14-6 with a 2.81 ERA. Better yet, he struck out 227 batters. Gausman was never a strikeout master in his early days with the Baltimore Orioles. Someone, somewhere taught him the importance of it.

Gausman has his 31st birthday scheduled for early January so he’s not exactly old or young for a free agent. He’s right there in the middle. A right-handed pitcher who may have simply needed to get out of Camden Yards to find success, he’d be an intriguing option for the Mets to buy high on this winter.

The reason he’s not higher on this list is because of some doubts. Can he replicate what he did with the Giants this year somewhere else? If there’s a place to do so, Citi Field could be it.

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